Chloe Zhao Makes History As Second Female Director Ever To Win Best Director

By Pamela Connellan
on 28 April 2021

Chloé Zhao has made history by becoming the second female director in the history of the Academy Awards to win Best Director for her film, Nomadland. She also makes history by becoming the first ever woman of colour to win the award.

Thirty-nine year old Zhao said in her acceptance speech: “Thank you to my entire Nomadland company. What a crazy once-in-a-lifetime journey we’ve been on together. Thank you so much, I’m so grateful to you.”

In her speech she went on to let people know how she does what she does and keeps inspired: “I’ve been thinking a lot lately of how I keep going when things get hard.

“I think it goes back to something I learned when I was a kid. When I was growing up in China, my dad and I used to play this game. We would memorise classic Chinese poems and texts and we would recite it together and try to finish each other’s sentences.”

“There was one I remember, so dearly. It’s called the Three Character Classics and the first phrase goes – (speaking in Mandarin) ‘People at birth are inherently good.’”

“And those six letters had such big impact on me as a kid. I still truly believe that today. I have always found goodness in the people I meet, everywhere I went in the world. This is for anyone who has the faith and courage to hold on to the goodness in themselves. And the goodness in each other, no matter how difficult.”

“This is for you. You inspire me to keep going,” she said.

Zhao also congratulated her fellow nominees, saying they are “brilliant.” They included Lee Isaac Chung for Minari, Emerald Fennell for Promising Young Woman, David Fincher for Mank and Thomas Vinterberg for Another Round.

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